Revising Leah

October 19, 2008

Podcast Your Novel

As more and more book selling moves online, there has also been a growth in audiobooks. A number of sites like Audible, iTunes, and eMusic sell professionally made audiobooks as downloads while sites like LibriVox offer free, volunteer-produced audiobooks of classic works that are in the public domain.

One website that I found recently helps new and unpublished writers produce audiobook versions of their own novels. The site is called Podiobooks, and it is a platform for writers to attract exposure and readers/listeners for their unpublished or self-published work. The audio downloads are free, although if you like a particular work you can donate money to the author, and you can subscribe to the RSS feed or have them sent to your podcatcher software to receive new chapters of a book as the author releases them.

I’m tempted to do something like this myself, just because it sounds fun. But for me, there would be problems. First of all, trying to record myself reading my novel would be an enormous project, and I don’t think I have the time to do it. Second, I’m NOT an actor, and especially not a voice actor, so I’m not sure if I’d be the best person to read my story. While I do try to read my book out loud as I revise it, I’m not sure that my voice should be the narrator’s voice in an audiobook version — and could I really provide the voice for Leah Nells when she speaks or for some of the other characters? I’m not sure. Third, I don’t think I have the right technical equipment to record an audiobook properly. My current computer included a microphone when I bought it, but I might have thrown it away, thinking that I’d never use it. I have an mp3 player that can record sound, but I’ve tried using that function before and it doesn’t produce a very high quality recording.

So as much fun as creating my own audiobook version of Leah might be, I don’t think I’ll do it. I might try recording just the first chapter, though, and posting it in this blog, but we’ll see. If I can find the time and find the right recording equipment, maybe I’ll do the first chapter.



  1. Thanks for posting about and helping to spread the word on what we’re doing.

    May I respond to a few points in your post?

    I don’t think I have the time to do it.

    It takes a lot of time to record your book. Seriously. Anyone who says differently either doesn’t know what they are talking about or doesn’t have a podiobook worth a damn. The good ones — and there are plenty — take some serious work on the part of the author or producer. It’s not an insurmountable amount of work, but it requires dedication. This is a valid reason for not doing it.

    I’m NOT an actor, and especially not a voice actor…

    Neither are 95% of the people who have books on our site. Our most popular titles are narrated by authors who ALSO aren’t trained actors or voice actors. That’s not to say that they aren’t well spoken, but most were not trained in the arts. Unless you have a major speech impediment, overly thick accent or some other extenuating circumstance, I’d say this usually isn’t a valid reason for not doing it. Everyone hates they way they sound when they start recording themselves. You get over it.

    I don’t think I have the right technical equipment to record an audiobook properly.

    Some great books on our site are recorded on equipment costing less than $100. Some of the best were done for less than a $500 investment. Everyone’s pocket book is of a different size, so I can’t tell you if that’s a valid reason or not. But now you have some figures to work with.

    Here’s an option you might not have thought of: have someone else narrate the book for you. You can pay people to do it for a fee. Or you can reach out to those who are looking for works to record and let them do it. Maybe you have fans who have the time/talent/equipment already?

    If you really would like to see your work in this form, I suggest checking out our Community section and asking if anyone would like to help. All that can happen is that they don’t say yes, right?


    Comment by Evo Terra — October 19, 2008 @ 11:18 pm

  2. Hi, J.M.

    I’m a author, and this entry popped up on my Google alerts. Just FYI, although is a great place for self-published authors, there are also quite a few conventionally published authors as well. Midlist authors, especially, find it an attractive way to self-publicize and boost recognition of themselves and their work.

    Creating a podcast novel is a lot of work, but just about anyone with enough dogged persistence can succeed. You don’t need expensive equipment to sound good. The only thing I bought was a descent $100 mic, but popular books have been recorded on far less.

    Best of luck!
    The Prophet of Panamindorah podcast

    Comment by Abbie — October 20, 2008 @ 7:37 am

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